Traveling with kids can be burdensome but think positive and smile – you’ re on vacation. It would not be a stressful affair at all with our travel experts’ useful advice.
1. Prepare for your vaccinations
Health issues are the main concern when traveling to developing countries such as ones in Southeast Asia. You might hear someone say “Don’t worry. I’ve just been back from there and I’m still ok”, but that said it’s good to be well prepared. They don’t go with kids, that’s you do. Make an appointment with your doctor at least two months before you leave, discuss with them your travel destinations to see if your children need any immunization.
2. Bring insect repellent
Malaria is quite common in tropical countries. It’s important to bring insect repellent, long sleeves t-shirts for the evening, and use the air-conditioner when you are in the hotel’s room to get rid of mosquitoes. They can’t stand the cool atmosphere.
3. Choose the proper clothes
Weather in Southeast Asia is consistently warm and humid (but it can be very hot in summer), bring lightweight and cotton clothes because you might sweat a lot. You will need at least one garment that covers your legs when visiting temples. Flip-flop goes for the best choice for footwear. Take along a pair of shoes for each person if you plan to go to nicer places in the evening. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats are necessary too because the sunlight is very strong. Don’t forget that you can always buy quality and cheap clothes in Southeast Asia, so don’t bring too much.
4. Bring your own reusable bottles
The tap water isn’t very safe to drink in this area, you will need to buy water bottles. But plastic usage is an alarming problem in Southeast Asia when the people’s awareness is still vague and government management is not yet effective. You can help to reduce the plastic waste by buying 5-liter bottles, then pour the water into your reusable bottles to bring with when you go out. This way works better than buying many half liter bottles then throw them away after one use.
5. Make a good plan
Travel with kids isn’t always the same as travel on your own. You will need to prepare a list of possible activities that are suit different weather conditions and interesting enough to keep them exciting. If you plan on walking or cycling (you should do because Southeast Asia provides some of the most beautiful trails), remember that it’s hard for youngsters to focus on finishing a long route. It’s important to choose a route that is suitable for children to carry on and goes to multiple destinations. For example, you can try a bike ride along a river, so your kids can play with water and watch birds on trees. It’s also perfect if you can combine a walk or a ride with other activities such as swimming, cruising on a boat, or exploring a local village.
6. Don’t stay away from the street food
(Photo: Amber Visions)
You might concern about the hygiene when it is related to street food. However, Southeast Asia has one of the most vibrant food scenes in the world, especially when talking about Bangkok, Hanoi, Penang, or Singapore. It would be a regret if your family miss out on these cuisine experience when traveling. The solution is really simple: bring medications for diarrhea as well as digestive problems. Yogurt and yogurt drinks which are found easily in convenience stores can help in mild cases. If your children are picky eaters, they’ll still be fine in Southeast Asia. Many Western foods are available in restaurants. There is also McDonald’s and KFC in the big cities if your kids need that sort of thing.
7. Don’t rely on public transport
Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore are great in term of public transportation. You can easily move from one place to another with their clean and modern Skytrain, MRT, and subway. But the other places are a totally different story. The buses are old, most of the taxi drivers don’t speak English, and the roads are crowded in the big cities or in poor condition in the remote areas. But this shouldn’t be a reason for not choosing Southeast Asia for your family vacation. All you need is to find the right travel agency which can arrange you a private car, driver, and local guide. Save your time to take advantage of the natural and cultural beauty rather than to look on the map while your both hands are busy with two little kids.
8. Book a hotel with swimming pool
Kids love water, no matter how old they are. What can be more relaxing than after a long, hot day visiting Hanoi, Bagan, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, or Siem Reap, there is a large and lovely pool for your family to swim and refresh. A hotel with beautiful pool also means a high standard accommodation with spacious room, comfortable beds, and good service, which make it the best option for families with children. You can check our list of 10 Hotels with stunning pools in Southeast Asia to choose one.
9. Be flexible
It’s not easy to make a plan when traveling with kids, it’s even harder to keep the plan work on the right way. You may want to visit all the shining temples in Chiang Mai in the morning, but your daughter just wants to see the elephant. You plan to do island hopping in Phuket, but your son insists on playing at the Surf House which he reads from a tourism brochure. Traveling can be much different than its true meaning with your little ones.
However, you still have a lot to do. You just need to prepare to change plans if needed and go with the understanding that sometimes replacing an intriguing museum with a playground is a key. But you know what? Southeast Asia offers so many interesting things for families to do besides exotic beaches and diverse cultures. If you don’t have any clue, we have a long list of family activities which keep your children happy in case you might want to refer.
10. Break family rules and have fun
You are traveling to Southeast Asia, where the time zone is totally different from your country’s. Try not to stress out about what so-called ‘sleep habit’ and ‘healthy diet’ on vacation. Kids are surprisingly resilient creatures: if they stay up late some nights, miss a few naps, and don’t eat veggies some meals, they will still survive (Be honest, kids always try to avoid napping and veggies whenever they can.) Let them do what they don’t usually do, enjoy what they don’t usually have, and eat what they don’t usually see in their hometown. Break family rules and have fun with your sweethearts. Isn’t family vacation all about having fun?
If this is your first time to Southeast Asia or first travel with your kid, read our blog post kid-friendly destinations in Southeast Asia to have ideas or ask our travel expert for useful advice about the activities and how to make the best plan. To begin with, check out our Best-selling Family Tours in many famous places:
then contact us to turn your own idea into a tailor-made trip.
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